Waiting for snow

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Name: Jack Caprio

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Baxter Basin

Date of Observation: 12/09/2020

Aspect: North, North East, East

Elevation: 9,500-11,500

Avalanches: Old natural and skier triggered dry loose avalanches on East, Northeast, and North Facing aspects above treeline. Some naturals were initiated due to solar warming near rock bands on east-facing terrain.

Weather: Just lovely. Little to no wind and sunny skies.

Snowpack: We toured primarily on North, Northeast, and East facing aspects from 9,500′ to 11,400′. At 10,000 feet, we found about 10-15 cm of 2-4 mm fist hard facets on the top of the snowpack. Below that, we found 30 cm of 1 finger dense snow down to the ground. As we gained elevation, we toured primarily on the northern quadrant of the compass.

At 11,400 feet, on an open north-facing aspect, the snowpack depth was 75 cm. The upper 25 cm of the snowpack was fist hard facets, while the next 40 cm had a 1 finger density.  This particular area held 10 cm of old late October snow at the bottom of the snowpack. This old October snow showed significant signs of rounding. After a couple of non-propagating test results, we skied 35-38 degree NNE facing slopes with no signs of instability.